When you see a commercial for a delectable chocolate bar or juicy cheeseburger, it’s hard to resist the temptation. Perhaps you can’t stop thinking about the cookies or bag of chips you have in your pantry. Or maybe you think that you just need more snacks to have around you at all times. In order to avoid eating the worst foods you could possibly put in your body, you have to listen to your body and understand hunger cues.
The key to not eating excessive amounts of food or unhealthy foods is to know when you are hungry. Your mind has a way of playing tricks on you, and overcoming temptations can be the hardest part. It is difficult to resist the urge to order pizza or have milkshakes delivered through an app. This was especially difficult during the pandemic when people were at home. It seems that certain unhealthy eating habits have carried over into present day, post-pandemic life, though.
Your body has a skilled way of communicating with you, but it is easy to misinterpret hunger cues. In order to help you determine whether you are actually hungry or not, health experts want you to know about these hunger cues. Continue reading to learn about five important signs of hunger.
Experts say that the average American adult experiences bloating as a result of overeating. That said, you can also experience bloating from not eating enough food. When you go too long without eating, gas can build up in the gastrointestinal tract. If you don’t get bloated, you may get constipated, especially if you don’t eat fibrous foods or drink enough water. Now, when you feel bloated or constipated, you may not feel hungry. To avoid bloating that results from not eating enough, be sure to eat at regular intervals and move the body daily to keep your hunger cues accurate.
You Think About Food All The Time
According to the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), a key feature of restrictive eating disorders is a strong preoccupation with food. Constantly thinking about food, even if you don’t struggle with an eating disorder, can signal the body that it is not receiving enough calories. Whether you know it or not, this is a protective measure because the brain wants you to consume enough food to function. If you notice that you constantly think about food, your body may be telling you that you are restricting too many calories. You may also not be eating regularly throughout the day.
Your Head Hurts
Head pain is actually a common symptom of low blood sugar, so a headache can indicate that you need to eat. The brain needs glucose to function and a common sign of low glucose (too many hours without food) is a throbbing pain in the temples. This is because the brain signals the body that it’s time to refuel, according to the National Headache Foundation. If you delay lunch or sip breakfast because you are in a rush, try to supply the body with food before you reach for aspirin when you first feel the headache pain.
When you miss a meal, it is very common to experience fatigue or sluggishness. If you race out of the house to get to work and don’t eat breakfast, you feel that mid-morning slump more than ever. When you don’t eat enough calories or skip meals, blood glucose levels dip, so your cells can’t get the energy they need. This is why fatigue is the primary indicator of low blood sugar. If you don’t eat breakfast, there’s no need to force-feed yourself a morning meal. Dietitians explain that the lack of appetite in the morning is the body’s way of telling you that you need more time to reset the metabolism. Instead of a full meal, try to enjoy a morning snack to see how it makes you feel. Eating a small nutrient-dense snack within two hours of waking up can help stabilize blood sugar levels and set your hunger tone for the rest of the day.
You Are Irritated
“Hangry” is a term for a reason: your stomach is trying to tell you to eat. It is very common to feel irritable before hunger kicks in. The dip in blood sugar makes it harder for you to control negative emotions, including anger and irritability. Health experts also propose another theory as to why anger accompanies hunger. The reason is that people often learn to associate physical hunger with a negative psychological state. When you feel hungry, then, you often interpret the sensation in a negative way. Avoid hunger and anger by focusing on eating balanced meals throughout the day. Timing is everything!